tv FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX News January 13, 2013 11:00pm-12:00am PST
>> greta: we're going to post information and they'll appreciate anything you can do to help. thanks for watching. next. i'm shannon bream. captioned by closed captioning services, inc. >> chris: i'm chris wallace. with vice president biden about to release h his plan to prevent more massacres the battle lines in washington are already forming. both sides in the gun debate are gearing up for a fight over tighter controls. who will win? we will ask two people at the center of the argument. eric from the center -- neeratanden and larry pratt. a showdown over the nominees to top national security posts. from defense to the cia the men the president want in his new cabinet are coming under heavy fire. will the stat approve them. we will hear from two members
of the armed services committee. republican kelly ayotte the and democrat richard blumenthal. and we will ask our sunday panel if mr. obama has the clout to win the fights he is taking on. and our power player of the week. wife of a washington insider makes her own mark. all right now on "fox news sunday." hello again from fox news in washington. in the wake of a newtown school shootings, washington is getting ready for a battle over how to prevent more acts of mass violence. joining me now are two people of the center of what is likely to be one of the first big political issues this year. larry pratt executive director for gun other thans of america and neera, president of the center for american progress. welcome to both of you to "fox news sunday." >> thank you.
>> thanks. >> chris: i want to put up remarkable numbers i saw. the nra contributed 20 million today's federal campaigns last year, $20 million and gun control groups gave $4,000. and 50% of the members of the new congress, in fact, more than half have an a rating from the nra. given all of that, how do you and other groups that feel as you you to hope to take on the gun lobby in practical terms? how do you match their money and their clout on capitol hill? >> look, are the nra is spent a lot of money on the elections last cycle and they didn't have to lot to show for it especially if you look at the senate. a lot of their candidates lost and they had a very if we are looking at return on investment they had a very low return on investment. of course, the nra s a strong lobby. the issue here is who s going to represent the voices of the american people in this debate.
things that seem like common sense to the american people. they scrub stand that we need to protect people's right to own a gun in their own home and protect themselves but there is something tragically wrong when there is mass slaughter so we have to solve this problem and i think getting -- >> chris: it are you going to launch a campaign. talk about raisin money and big grass roots organization. >> and the thing is bringing the voices in. we need the leadership of the president and i expect the president president to play a strong leadership role. progressive organizations will work in the states and make sure that we have the voice and we wily have the american people and even gun owners who is support these proposals their voices at the table as well. >> chris: mr. pratt, i think you you would agree the national wave of horror over the slaughter of the 20 small children in newtown, last month, do you see any sign that mrs. tanden and allies can
change the national conversation and get members of congress to pass the first tough gun controls since 1994? >> we don't think that there is much likelihood that the congress is going to move on making gun control laws worse than they are. in fact, already there are a couple of bills that have been put in one by representative steve stockman outside of houston that would remove the gun free zones that have been so much like a magnet to invite mass murderers into zones where they know nobody else will be able to shoot back. and that i think is where the debate is likely to shift. are we really better off when we say no defense is a good defense? >> chris: i want to put up an ad that gun control advocates have started running against new democratic senator heidi hei dcamp of north dakota when she said some of the president's ideas about gun control are extreme.
will that work. can ms. tanden and their allies and they have suggested they can drive a wedge between people like you, the heads of the nra and some of their members who may not be as hardline as you guys are on gun controls? >> i think the senator from north dakota is reflecting the views of the people that sent her to washington. so i don't think there is much room to drive any wedge. i think she is representing them rather faithfully and i think it is noteworthy that a democrat who would be under a lot of pressure within their are caucus to take a gun control point of view is not having anything other. >> that s not true. heidi heidcamp has heard from both sides of the issue and now said she is open to discussion of the issues. i think the challenge here for the leaders of the nra and the leadership of the gun movement if that is right is that 74% of nra members, over 80% of gun
owners recognize that we have a challenge on the background check system and they want an inclusive background check system and want to keep these guns out of the hands of people who are dangerous. this is just common sense to mothers, fathers, parents in the united states. we had a poll out this week that over 75% of parents think we need to take stronger action to strengthen our gun laws. i think the issue here is really not one extreme versus another. it is the broad middle rising up and saying you know what, we can do something about it. after newtown, the idea that we do nothing is a tragedy. >> chris: let's look at some of the ideas and he is pretty open about them that vice president is suggesting and probably will offer to the president on tuesday. new limits on assault weapons. new limits on high capacity magazines that hold 30 rounds, maybe even 100 rounds. universal background checks and a crackdown on gun trafficking. which of those that i
specifically mentioned do you think would do the most good in terms of solving the problem and which do you think is most likely to get through congress? >> well, universal background checks is really important. right now, 40% of guns sold in the united states don't have any check system. that is more than swiss cheese full of holes. you know, we really need to address that challenge. and those are area where again gun owners is support a come prehen is sucomprehensive gun . an area where hopefully this will be bipartisan support. once the president engages in a conversation with the american people he has shown time and time again when the american people get engaged that is how you change, washington. >> chris: let's pick up on that. you and the nra and the other gun rights group say the problem isn't the weapon, it is the person who is firing the weapon. let's talk about universal background checks.
i was is surprised to find out that in 40% of the sales there is no such screen of the person buying the gun. what is wrong with universal background checks? >> i think it is a false security to think that somehow we will spot problems when there is really no way to spot the problems. some of the most horrendous of the mass murders that occurred recently including one in background check. have been the gun is stolen. the person has no prior criminal record. and so to assume this is going to be our firewall against mass murders. >> chris: i don't think anybody is saying it as firewall. what is wrong with the idea if you are going to get a gun whether it from a registered dealer or in a private sale you would have to go through a background check just in case to find out whether somebody is a felon or has a mental health problem. >> we are wasting our timing. >> that direction when we should be talking about doing away with the gun-free zones which have been such a magnet to those who would come and slaughter lots of people knowing that there is nobody
that is going to be legally able to defend themselves in these zones. that is where we are really making our big mistake. >> chris: let me pick up on that. because even barbara boxer and i say even, a very liberal progun control senator from california. even she is talking about $50 million for federal funding of putting more police and more armed security in schools. >> look, we have had situations where people are armed. we have had situations with columbine, other places where there are armed guards and it hasn't protected people. so here is the issue -- >> chris: aren't you doing the same thing that mr. pratt did. wait, let me just say, mr. pratt just said it wouldn't have helped in this case. maybe it wouldn't have helped in columbine but it might have helped in another case. >> you're right. i'm willing to consider those actions and i am hoping that larry pratt is willing to consider having what the police officers and law enforcement want is a background check
system. i think it is wrong that it hasn't mattered and wouldn't matter. the virginia tech shooting they had a faulty background check system. he should not the have had a gun because he had problems with mental illness and yet our faulty system allowd that to happen. people would be protected today and alive today if we had these kinds of things in place. >> chris: joe biden indicated in addition to the legislative action he will suggest to the president that the president can also take executive action but not on the big things like banning guns or universal background checks. what kinds of things do you believe the president can do on an executive action basis, unilateral basis that can make a difference? >> start by ensuring that the federal government, people within the federal government turn over their records also to the background check system. so the defense department needs to do that. >> chris: so more information sharing? >> more information sharing within the government. >> chris: do you have a problem with that kind of executive
action? >> i think we are just avoiding the reality we have been moving in the direction that somehow self-defense is not valid and that we can somehow protect ourselves by this background check idea he and in fact background checks wouldn't have stopped most of the last of these ms. murders that have occurred. the gun gets stolen or the person has no background that would have popped up. we have got to face the reality that we have got to empower average people including teachers and other people in schools to be able to defend themselves. >> chris: i want to get into one last issue, a bigger issue. you say maybe the basic problem here president obama's disdain for the constitutional right to bear arms and in fact you have compared him to george iii the british monarch during the revolution. >> might he learn from his example. >> chris: but when the supreme court ruled on the second amendment in the 2008 case, the
case here in d.c., i want to put up with justice scalia said. there seems to us no doubt on the basis of text in history that the second amendment conferred an individual right to bear arms. of course, the right was not unlimited. in fact, in his decision he talked about restrictions on what kinds of guns can be sold and who can buy them and where they can be carried. so yes, he said there is a second amendment individual right but he didn't say it is without limits. >> well, that was unfortunate because the amendment does provide its own degree of scrutiny and says shall not be in flinged and we know that at least one justice mr. thomas takes that point of view. this is not something where the government is supposed to be free to tell we the people the government's boss how much, how far we can go with the second amendment. the second amendment is there to constrain the government, not the people. >> chris: you you think scalia
was wrong when said that that right was not unlimited? >> he was not speaking from a constitutional perspective. >> he is a supreme court justice. >> chris: you disagree with supreme court justices all the time. >> i do. but i'm surprised that he is disagreeing with justice scalia on this issue. >> chris: you talked at the beginning about presidential leadership and you worked in the obama white house for a year or so. the president has too deal with the debt ceiling. he wants to pass major immigration reform. >> absolutely. >> chris: do something about climate change. has he told you how much political capital he is willing to spend on what is going to be a very tough fight? >> i think that the president has demonstrated tremendous leadership on this issue. i think the country rallied around him and h his leadership because he really was a voice for the parents who lost a child. >> chris: has he told you how much -- >> and i see from his actions and we hear from the white house and we hear from the vice president that they are going
to lay down political capital on the issue and i think the one thing i would say to those people like larry and others who said we can't do anything about these issues is that whether it comes from the background checks or dealing with high capacity magazines which was the issue in newtown we can take action and to say that we should do nothing really doesn't respond to those parents in newtown who lost children in this horrible tragedy. >> chris: thank you both so much for coming in today and we will stay on top of what is likely to be one of the first tough contentious issues in the new congress. thank you both very much. >> thank you, chris. >> chris: up next, two key senators on
>> chris: president obama has announced that a national security team he wants for his is second term and bruising confirmation battles are shaping up over several picks especially former senator chuck hagel for secretary of defense. joining me are two key members of the senate armed services committee. republican kelly ayotte and senator blumenthal. welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> thank you. >> chris: i want to pick up on the conversation we had in the last session about guns. senator ayotte you have an a rating from the nra and senator blumenthal an f rating from the nra. when you look at the ideas that vice president bide season talking -- biden is talking about and going to is present to the president on tuesday. i want to ask what you can support. senator ayotte, can you support the idea of universal background checks? >> i think it would be important that we have a thoughtful discussion about this. we haven't talked i didn't hear a lot of discussion this morning with your prior guests
about also our mental health system. my background before serving in the senate i was a homicide prosecutor. i do come from the perspective that taking away the rights of law abiding citizens is not going to stop a deranged individual or a criminal. should we look at improving our background system? i'm willing to listen to what proposals come forward on that. again, i don't know that that would have stopped what happened in newtown and i think we need to be very thoughtful in how we go forward with what happens and make sure that whatever is done actually is a solution to the problem. >> chris: senator blumenthal, you you, of course, represent newtown, connecticut, the scene of the horrific school shooting. would the strength of the gun lobby which we demonstrated in the last seth. what are the chances -- in the last segment. what are the chances that the biden plan can get through congress? >> not only do i represent the state of connecticut and newtown, chris but i really lived through that very searing
painful grief in the weeks afterward speaking with families and with the newtown community and any one who lived through that period of time has been changed. and i think the nation has been transformed in the debate and the discussion and conversations we are having about gun violence prevention now. i think the nation is ready for more thorough background checks so that we cover the 40% that now are not covered. i think the nation is ready for a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines and most important, chris, i think there is common ground here in the need for better enforcement of the existing laws. let me give you one very, very important example. we have no background checks now on purchases of ammunition. it is against the law for a fugitive, a felon, a deranged person, someone seriously mentally ill, someone under a court order for domestic
violence abuse to purchase ammunition and firearms but there are no background checks on persons with ammunition. so someone can walk into a wal-mart and buy a shopping full of ammunition and walk out and pay no questions asked. i have proposed that we have background checks not only on firearms purchases but also ammunition and prohibit the teflon tipped and incendiary bullets. the bullets along with the firearms are what we need to focus on. and my background also is law enforcement. i was attorney general -- >> chris: i do want to get to national security. you are both members of the senate armed services committee which will be holding the hearings on chuck hagel as new defense secretary. look at the issues critics have raised. on iran he voted against sanctions. opposed naming the
revolutionary guards as terrorists because he says president bush might have used that as cover for a military attack on israel. hagel said the u.s. is should talk to hamas. he opposed declaring hezbollah a terrorist organization and also said this is the quote the jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. senator ayotte, how troubled are you by the hagel nomination? >> let me say this i'm very he troubled. i think that the hearings on this nomination are going to be consequential. i have not made up my mind but here s where we are. you put up his prior positions. it makes me wonder and perplexes me why the president nominated senator hagel. one of the things that troubles me that you didn't put up s also the reaction of iran. one of the greatest threats that we face is that iran acquiring a nuclear weapon. some of the prior statements seem to suggest that he thinks we could contain iran. well, that is against 99 senators we recently voted and richard blumenthal is a great
supporter of that that our policy cannot be to contain a nuclear armed iran. iran this week kind of reacted favorably some what. some statements favorable to the nomination. they said they were hopeful that with his nomination they hoped that we would change our policies. what i want to make sure is that iran is actually not hopeful but they are fearful as a result of our nominee from a secretary of defense perspective because i think that will cause them to stop marching toward acquiring a nuclear weapon, not hope that we will change our policies. they he need to change their policies. >> chris: fair to say you are leaning against a nomination at this point? >> fair to say if you look at his prior positions he has a lot of questions to answer about this and i'm deeply troubled by it. i guess i also wonder what message are we sending to iran sending message are we to israel and i'm perplexed that the president has nominated him given the statements that he made during the presidential campaign.
>> chris: nascar blumenthal, simple question. comfortable with with the positions on iran and israel? st. >> i will ask questions about the positions. >> chris: comfortable with them? >> i'm not comfortable yet. i want to ask him questions about those two issues. but two points have to be stressed. number one, chuck hagel is someone of statue. he is is a war hero. a combat veteran. a person of enormous personal distinction in his record of public service in the senate but also in uniform. and second, you know, there are tremendously consequential issues that are equally important to ask about during this hearing. for scam the theist o shift ofo the asia pacific. are we going to have the underwater capability and air superiority to defend our strategy in that part of the world. sub marines, the joint strike
fighter tremendously important to our future. i want to ask senator hagel about his position on those issues. i think we have reached a point in this country where positions are taken on nominees very dramatic and staunch positions before they have the opportunity to give their own positions. >> chris: to make it it clear, you are not, this is a democratic president naming his -- you are at this point not prepared to say you survivors you port the hagel nomination. >> i think senator hagel will be approved. the think the history of nominees shows and i think his own qualifications also demonstrate that he has the capacity but i want to know his positions on those issues and i reserve judgment until i hear his responses. >> chris: i want to get to broaden this up the bigger issue with all of the president's national security picks it seems to me, senator ayotte is he seems to have come down firmly on the side of pursuing a light footprint strategy in his second term, ending the wars we are in,
limiting new interventions and relying more on drones and commando special operations forces as well as multilateral action. as you look at that, are you you comfortable with that as a foreign policy approach? >> well, i'm concerned, chris, about what this says and let's step back for a minute. exhibiting a light footprint what happened in the consulate in benghazi. the fact that security was not what it should have been there. the fact that we relied on local militias a rise of activity by al-qaeda inspired militias in the area and a we didn't have the proper security there and during the attack didn't have the response within the 7 hour period that we needed to obviously save lives. let's step back further from that. what we have seen is a pattern from the president on numerous occasions where none of us want to is send men and women to war if we don't have to.
and obviously we want to bring them home as quickly as possible but example a another example, iraq. we had -- he had the recommendations of his general, general austin, 15 to 18,000 troops as a followon and then it was peared down to 000. they couldn't negotiate a status of forces agreement and now you have al-qaeda coming, we have the al-qaeda activity in iraq and as well as iran playing a greater role. we are seeing the same thing in afghanistan right now. the problem is that the light footprint if you don't leave the proper follow-on in afghanistan and we have seen a pattern of where he wants to withdraw remember during the fighting season, during the election is season when no military commander recommended it. we are seeing the same thing now with the recent discussions with president karzai and the worry is that the light footprint approach can leave us in a situation where the taliban come back in power, where al-qaeda is give and launching pad to commit attacks
against our country. i am concerned about this approach. >> chris: and senator blumenthal generally speaking light footprint, less boots on the ground, less intervention, more drones, small commando operations, multilateral operations. >> a lean agile very effective special operations force is america ms future in many parts of the world in fighting terrorism. and the special operations and seals and drones together in terms of intelligence gathering as well as effective fighting force can be tremendously effective. i think what we need to do, chris, is define the mission. and that will in turn determine the size of the footprint. for example in afghanistan counter terrorism fighting special operations as well as training will require some footprint on the ground. the question is how many. and i think kelly ayotte is absolutely right to be focused on these issues.
by the way, we have worked together on a very bipartisan way. she and senator mccain and senator graham and myself and senator casey on iran. >> i have great reis spect for richard on these issues. >> as members of the armed is services committee we will continue working together because there s no republican or democratic approach to national security. this out to be one approach. >> chris: we have to leave it there. thank you both for coming in today. always good to talk with both of. >> thank you, chris. >> chris: up next, we ask our sunday group about the president's light footprint policy and the national security team he's chose ton make it work. -- chosen to make it work.
with the devastating blows we have struck against al-qaeda our core objective, the reason we went to war in the first place is now within reach. ensureing that al-qaeda can never again use afghanistan to launch attacks against our country. >> chris: president obama this week announcing a faster time table forgetting out of afghanistan. and it is time for our sunday group. brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. bob woodward of the washington post and author of the book the price of politics. bill kristol of the weekly
standard and former democratic senator evan bayh. the president made it clear this week if it is not a rush for the eastboundities in afghanistan it is -- exits in afghanistan it is a brisk walk in that direction, brit. he sped up the time table for moving from a lead combat role to an advisory mission and all signs are he will commit fewer troops to afghanistan after 2014 than u.s. commanders want. question, or two questions. what do you make of that and what do you make of all this talk as we discuss with the two senators about pursuing a light footprint foreign policy in the second term? >> i hope the president is right. i hope we are near the moment where as he suggests where we can say mission accomplished in afghanistan and al-qaeda can never run free here again and use afghanistan as a base for operations. the fear, of course, is that he is not right and that the force that he leaves behind and the mission assigned will not be sufficient to further that goal and then you -- that, of course, is a question of his nominee for defense and whether that nominee for defense if he were to listen to the commanders and begin to think
that their case was more powerful would be willing to sell the president so and the president would be willing to listen to him. >> chris: we will get to haig until a minute but afghanistan and the whole idea of light footprint. >> he believes in it. i did a whole book obama's wars on his afghan policy and president obama is the one who added 30,000 troops initially in 2009. a surge much bigger than george w. bush's surge in iraq. they looked at it and they think we can get out. remember it as new world now. we are kind of in a post -- the transition out of a post super power world. and obama and his team are trying to find a way to adapt to that and i think getting out of afghanistan makes sense. the question is you need some sort of insurance policy and that would be some sort of
troops left behind, what that number is, is up in the air obviously. >> chris: as one of the founding members of neoconservative movement, bill, what do you make of all this? >> well, bob said, getting out of afghanistan. that s what president obama wants to do and i think it is deeply iris responsible but i think it will be very hard for the senate or the house to stop him from doing so and i don't think it will work to leave a couple of thousand troops there. no serious analyst thinks you can maintain or even support counter terrorism operations. can't even support special forces or drones with two or three or four thousand troops. they will be defending themselves. the cia is now going to pull back rapidly and dramatically in afghanistan. they need protection, too. president obama will take us down below a level at which i think we can function there. it is a dangerous policy and i hope the congress looks at that time and we have a debate on it and i hope president obama explains to the american people
what he is doing. if he decided the game isn't worth the candle, he should say that and explain why he ordered the surge that bob mentioned three years ago and now and we sent an awful lot of kids over there and why he is now just getting out. >> chris: you talked about congress. let me flip to the other subject. in comes as the president named a new national security team and as i discussed with the senators the most controversial pick is chuck hagel for defense secretary. here is what hagel said this week when was named. >> i will do my best for our country and for those i represent at the pentagon and for all of our citizens. and mr. president, i will always give you my honest and most informed counsel. >> chris: the question, bill, is what kind of counsel hagel will give. we talked with the senators about his positions on israel and iran and what we didn't mention s that he also said that he thinks the pentagon budget is bloated and needs to be pared down?
>> the comment was to leon panetta's comment that this would be devastating cuts. he is very worried about the cuts. chuck hagel dismissed any problems and said the pentagon budget is bloated. downtown think chuck hagel is the right man to be secretary of defense. we will see if they agree with that. >> chris: your thoughts about him as secretary of defense? >> i think what s important here, chris, to remember is it is not what kristol or bayh might want in a secretary of defense. it is what president obama wants. regardless of who the secretary of defense is they are going to have to recognize certain economic and fiscal realities and part of that s going to be trimming the pentagon budget. so personally, he served our country. wounded if combat. nothing personally disqualifying there and i think the hearings and personal meetings will give senator
hagel -- >> chris: are you troubled when you heard the statements he made on iran and israel? >> i have differences of opinions on these issues. but the important thing is he has the president's trust and represents the president's thinking and his critics will have an opportunity to ask him about his views about israel and about how we deal with iran. i think you will find senator hagel will be he clear and strong in his support and israel and lay out a strategy for dealing with the iranian nuclear program. that is what is important going forward. >> with all due respect i don't think the most important thing is whether he has the president's trust. i think it is obvious and he wouldn't have been chosen if he hadn't. the thing is whether he can make the right decisions at a time of austerity but must be done expertly and well and shrewdly so that we do not diminish the strength of our military. the president keeps talking about it remains the most powerful fighting force in
history. that will not end up that way if the job of paring back pentagon spending don't done deftly. senator hagel has never been really a defense intellectual and so forth. his judgment is the key and it is the most important thing. >> it is not disqualifying to have not been a defense intellectual. i think what -- that hagel served in vietnam as an enlisted sergeant. s a tribute to him and obama that they would pick somebody like this. i served in the navy during the vietnam era and i remember that and i lessons of vietnam really are embedded in those who were there and i think that s really good and i think the issue really is when are we going to go to war, how are we going to use military force. and what obama and hagel i think are saying here is we are
going to be very restrained. but i think they both realize and i found in doing this book on obama he is willing to use force. there is no question about that. but it is with a a lot of caution restraint and let's face it, obama is not going to bring back don rumsfeld for a third term as secretary of defense. >> restraint is always a good thing in the application of military force. what you want to have, though, is restraint by choice and not because you must be restrained because you lack the force necessary for certain missions. that is the question are we being restrain the because we have to or because we decide to? >> the important thing to remember, chris, s we are not going to have a secretary of defense free lansing making the decisions on his or other own. most of the judgments made in the white house and implemented by the secretary of defense and so it really is the president who is ultimately accountable for all this and his views were judged in november and that was
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>> chris: the vice president and the nra on the gun controls the vice president will send to the panel this week. the president is looking to for more gun control in the wake of newtown. do you see any sign and you heard the conversation today, of a new willingness on congress to pass this kind of legislation? >> not much. they might -- i will assume they will consider various measures but ultimately the measures are not going to do much about unfortunately the mass kicks we had. the president didn't campaign on gun control. second term presidents do well when they try to implement what they told the voters they would focus on. he was going to focus on the economy. he didn't talk about gun control when controlled congress in 2009 and 2010 they didn't reinstate the assault ban. >> chris: but we did have newtown. >> we did have newtown but one incident does not tell you what policy should be and in any case as everyone pointed out a million times the particular
things proposed would have is nothing to do with newtown. hot a single proposal on their menu that would have stopped mr. lanza from buying the guns and having the guns apparently. there would have been a registry in which people would have known she had the gun. would that have helped? >> chris: i was astonished to learn during the 2012 campaign the nra contributed $20 million to various candidates and the gun control groups $4,000 and that more than 50% of the people on capitol hill have an a rating from the nra. do you see any movement on this issue? >> it is a very difficult heavy lift, chris. you think back to when bill clinton tried this in 1993. he had a large major etan of democrats in the -- majority in the house of representatives and was barely able to get anything done and now, of course, the republicans control the house of representatives. and you put your finger on it the opponents of taking additional steps tend to be
much better organized and better funded. my guess is most of the action in the regulatory arena and the administration will look to see what they can do on their own absent much prospect for legislation. >> chris: i want to broad then legislation. mr. weather iwhether it is the fiscal cliff or gun control or a major immigration reform movement by the president. he seems to be as he prepares for his inaugural a more combative president, more confrontational and less interested even in the beginning in compromise. one, do you agree? and two, what does that say to you about prospects for his second term? >> i think it is interesting because the president was elected in '08 by a more significant margin, notably more significant margin than he was reelected. he was not nearly the in your face guy in '09 and 2010 with the exception of obama care
obviously which the public turned out not to like and the stimulous, he didn't really have this level of -- and his level of intensity about things and his supporters were insisting throughout he s really a moderate. he is a really a moderate. but he doesn't look like a moderate now having lost the house of representatives, republicans hold in the 2012 election the house. he is in a less strong position than he was in '08 and 2009 and yet coming on more aggressively. one wonders if it will end well for him. >> an interesting question going on is what is the role for the republican house in divided government and what is obama's role? and they are going to have is to face that and the republicans i think today and tomorrow they are having a leadership retreat and the end of the week all house republicans are meeting and they have got to define what is
that role and hopefully gun control connects to immigration, connects to all of the spending and tax issues and are they going to have some way where they are going to say let's work together or are we going to have four more years of this petty stupid fighting on things that makes everyone look ridiculous and no one comes out the winner. >> chris: let me before i get to you, and what about the president's side of it? do you agree that he has take and more combative tone since the election? >> he has. but, you know, we were going to have tax increases for everyone and he and to speaker boehner's credit they wound up agreeing as did biden and mcconnell that we are going to give 99% of the people in this country a permanent tax break. that was a big accomplishment. of course, everyone dumped on
it when it happened but the 99% of the people who got that tax cut i think are quite happy. i think they haven't figured out a strategy in the white house just like the republicans don't have one. >> there is two kinds of issues. issues the president ran on in the reelection campaign. he has credibility to say hey, i won the reelection. you can say to democratic members of congress this is our platform and to republican members say don't you need to compromise with me on this and that was taxes and exclusively on raising taxes on the wealthy. >> he ran on immigration reform. >> and immigration reform. on the two issues already on taxes there s a good chance of holding good chunks of his party and of persuading republicans let's try to work something out on this. he didn't run on gun control. if i can get back to hagel he ran as extremely proisrael and tough on proiran sanctions guy and now nominated a defense secretary who is not onboard with that so republicans feel
no compunction about opposing senator hagel. >> you are -- >> there is questions about it and he said some things but i think if he were here and i think in his confirmation hearings he is going to be very proisrael. and pro -- >> he didn't mean it when said that his fellow senators were intimidated by the jewish lobby. >> that was years ago. he has apologized. >> chris: let me broaden this out even more. that is if you look over recent history whether it is regan, whether it is clinton, whether it is bush 43, second term presidents tend to have problems. one, why do you think that is in their second terms and what do you think that there is a -- do you see any warning signs that president obama may be falling into some of the same traps? >> it reminds me when i first became governor chris and was confronted with a difficult issue i had never heard of and i looked at the chief of staff and said you know most of the easy decisions were made before
we got here. you have more political capital to use in the first term. it as depreciating asset in the second term. that is one of the reasons the president s being so more aggressive now. number one the political decisions and core philosophical differences between the two parties now are greater than i can ever remember. that maybes compromise more difficult. the fiscal and economic challenge i think is going to use mo most of the legislative capital. a lot of the action in the next couple of years in the regulatory area, consolidating the affordable care and dodd frank. i'm glad you are all sitting down. in a matter of months minds turn to the mid term elections. thing if the democrats get the house free running again. >> chris: you were saying you wonder whether this is going to end well. do you worry or do you have
concerns -- >> not this. the fiscal negotiations and our spending and taxes, the taxes one i think is closed, come down to this. the reason we can't get a deal is that for each party each party s trying to get from the negotiations what they are being asked to five up in the negotiations. -- give up in the negotiations. hard to get a deal that a way. >> check out panel plus where our group pubs up with the discuss on our -- picks up with our discussion on the website. follow us on twitter. up next, our power player of the week. [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work. and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money. joe doesn't knowt yet, but he'll work his way up from busser to waiter to chef before opening a restaurant specializing in fish and game from the great northwest. he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him, and he'll set money aside from his first day of work
>>. >> chris: up till now she let her husband lead on public life as she has been as private as she can be. but she has decided to help more people by stepping forward. here is our power player of the week. >> it's the point of everyone. >> carol geithner is talking about it. for the last 20 years she has worked as a counselor and now a novelist to help people deal with loss. >> sharing their story, the happy memories, the sad memories it's part of coming to terms with this. >> chris: in case you are wondering, she is the wife of
treasury-secretary tim geithner. that may be the least interesting part of her story. >> my interest came not by choice. it was because my mother died when i was 25. >> her mom died of cancer and carol was her primary care give in her final years. now she has written a novel "if only," about a 13-year-old girl going through the same experience. >> in our house, which is not unusual, we didn't put up our decorations. our house is permanently changed. our house is full of sadness. >> how does she get through the day and the weekly and year without a mom. and he is struggling with his own grief. so they have to find a way to support each other. >> chris: in the book, she creates a memorial quilt from swatches from mother's
belongings. carol did it in real life. why did she decide to write about a young teen? >> it's hard to asks sk for help with teenagers, it's kind of like this. if you don't find a way to reach out to them, they are very unlikely to reach out to you. >> chris: they met as students at dartmouth college and have been married 27 years. >> chris: i understand you considered writing it under your maiden name. why? >> i didn't want it to be connected with tim and his work. i wanted to be about this topic. but i've been married for all my life and i changed my name to geithner at age 23 and i am proud of him. >> a few incredibly fortunate that my family have been willing to allow me to do this.